29 December 2014
China begins the New Year as the world’s largest economic power. Has China risen? Amidst never-ending talks and discussion about a rising China, what are the indicators of a risen China?
Since the 1990s, China has been engaged in what it once referred to as a “peaceful rise”. Fast forward to a quarter of a century later and people still speak of the ‘rise of China’, despite its vast developments and advancements in the areas of economics, military power, and soft power. What would it take for China to be recognised as having risen? How would one determine if and when China has risen?
Perhaps to help answer this, one needs to look back at the last great-power transition. The last transition, between Britain and the United States, needed a cataclysmic event – World War II – to herald the change in perception and power. After the events of World War II, it was clear as day to everyone that the United States was the top power in the world. Needless to say, no one is looking for a repeat of a great war in order to recognise China’s ascent. So, short of a shock to world order, what needs to happen, or what indicators must China fulfil in order for the country to be perceived as a ‘risen’ power?
…Amanda Huan is a research analyst at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 30/12/2014